FLO Student Support

Forums quiz icon

What is a forum?

A forum is a place to communicate ideas and thoughts. Generally each of your topic's will have a number of forums in which you can communicate with other students and the teaching staff. Some topics also utilise forums for assessment purposes.

What is it for?

Forums have many uses, such as

  • A social space for students to get to know each other
  • For topic announcements (using a news forum with forced subscription)
  • For discussing topic content or reading materials
  • For continuing online an issue raised previously in a face-to-face session
  • For teacher-only discussions (using a hidden forum)
  • A help centre where tutors and students can give advice
  • A one-on-one support area for private student-teacher communications (using a forum with separate groups and with one student per group)
  • For extension activities, for example ‘brain teasers’ for students to ponder and suggest solutions to

Keeping track of new posts

When visiting your FLO topic, you will be visually alerted to the presence of new forum posts.  A message next to the forum will notify you of unread posts.

The announcements and general discussion forums, showing unread posts in yellow

You can also subscribe to a forum to receive notification of new posts.  Some forums, like the Announcement forum, are set to 'forced subscription' mode, and will automatically be set to send email notifications.  Other forums may have optional subscription.

To change your forum preferences, click on your name at the top right of your screen then select preferences then forum preferences.  Here you can select the type of email notifications you would like to receive (individual emails or a daily digest), and edit your auto-subscription setting.

To edit your subscription to a specific forum, enter that forum then look to the Actions cog.  If Optional Subscription is enabled, you may be able to subscribe or unsubscribe.

actions cog menu with the options to subscribe, track unread posts, and export

The Announcement forum is found in most topics, and is used by your teacher to post important announcements or updates.

announcements forum

By default, the announcement forum is set to 'forced subscription' mode, meaning you will receive email notifications of all Announcements to your University email address.  

Unlike many other forums, the Announcement forum does not support replies.

To post to a forum, first you will need to locate it in your FLO topic page.  Click on the title to enter the forum.

  • If discussion has already started, you will see a list of ongoing discussions. 
    • If you wish to start a new discussion, click Add a new discussion topic
    • To read or reply to an existing discussion, click on the discussion title

Forum landing page.  At the top is the 'add new discussion' button.  Beneath this are existing discussion posts

Reading and replying to a discussion

  • To read or reply to a forum post, enter the forum and click on the title of the discussion you would like to read or respond to.

    Click on the discussion title to read or reply to a discussion

  • To post a reply, look for the reply option at the bottom right of the post.

    reply button at the bottom right of the original post

  • Enter your reply and click submit.  If you would like to access additional editing features (like Kaltura or file upload), click advanced.

    enter your reply and click submit

Add a new discussion topic

  • If you wish to start a new discussion, click Add a new discussion topic.

    Click 'add a new discussion'

  • Enter your post's subject and message.  If you would like to access additional editing features (like file upload), click advanced
  • Note: if you are using footnotes in forums, please ensure that you use plain text, ie. no hyperlinks
  • Click post to forum when you are ready to upload your post

    write your subject and message, then click 'post to forum'

When posting to any forum activity, make sure you follow appropriate online behaviour.  See the University's Netiquette guidelines for more information.

Content in the message field will auto-save every 60 seconds, however we do not recommend that you rely on the auto-save feature to save your content.
You may like to compose your blog post in a program like Word, and copy and paste your text into the message field once you are ready to post.

You have 15 minutes to edit your post after clicking the 'post to forum' button.  After this time has lapsed you will not be able to make any further changes.
If you need to delete your post for any reason, and the 15 minute window has lapsed, please contact your Topic Coordinator directly for assistance.

If you use the HTML editor for a prolonged period of time you may experience a time-out. If this occurs, log back into FLO and straight back to the content you were editing.  FLO will try to auto-recover your content.  If you fail to log back in or if you navigate away from the content it will not be recoverable.

A Question and Answer forum is one where you are asked to reply to a specific post before you can see the replies posted by other students.  

Question and Answer forums can be identified by the text reading 'this is a question and answer forum.  In order to see other responses to these questions, you must first post your answer'.

This is a question and answer forum. In order to see other responses to these questions, you must first post your answer

To read and reply to the original post, click on its discussion title.  

click on the discussion title to read and reply

Select the reply button to the below right of the original post

Read the question/message, then click reply below to the right

Enter your response, then click the submit button when you are ready to post

enter your response and click 'submit' when ready

Your post will be visible to other students after the 15 minute editing window has lapsed.  Wait for the 15 minute window to lapse to see other student's posts.


If you see the text 'there are no questions yet in this forum', this indicates that your teacher has not yet posted a discussion for you to respond to.  Please let your teacher know if you see this message.